Massage collage There is nothing more energizing than a good massage. It refreshes your mind and renews and revitalizes your body, easing away tension. In an ideal situation, you should massage yourself at least once a week. Here is some information on the types of massages you can get yourself and their benefits on various parts of your body.

Effleurage: Long, soothing, stroking movements performed using the flat of the hand or fingers. Mould your hands towards the contours of the body.

Petrissage: The movements involve various ways of kneading, rolling and ‘picking up’ the skin and muscles. It is performed by starting with the fingers pointing away from you, then pressing down with the palm, grasping the flesh between fingers and thumb and pushing it towards the other hand.

Friction: Using the thumb, fingertips or knuckles, you can apply deep direct pressure to one particular site of muscular tension. The method is simple. You just have to press for a few seconds, then gradually release.

Tapotement: The fast and stimulating movements of massage are termed tapotement or “percussion” movements. They include cupping, hacking and pounding. Don’t practice it on bony areas or broken or varicose veins.

Note: Generally, one begins with effleurage and ends with tapotement, unless otherwise specified by the physician

Benefits: Soothes tired and achy legs, prevents exercise injuries and relieves stiffness. This massage prevents varicose veins, reduces swelling and improves the appearance of unsightly cellulite.

Position: Sit down with one leg stretched out straight in front of you and the other bent with the foot kept flat on the ground.

How to massage:

Use friction. Place the pads of both thumbs just below the knee and use small, circular friction movements all around the patella. These movements will help improve and maintain mobility of your knee joint.

For a cellulite buster massage, lightly clench your fists and bring them down onto any areas of cellulite. Finish with effleurage.

Benefits: Rids you of exhaustion, anxiety, clears sinuses. Enhances complexion and reduces fine wrinkles.

Position: Lie down on a bed or sit up in a chair.

How to massage:

The effleurage way — place both palms down on your forehead, with your fingertips facing each other. Stroke across your forehead. Repeat outward, stroking across your cheeks and chin.

For a chin and jaw toning massage and to prevent a double chin, pinch all along your jaw line using your thumbs and index finger.

Benefits: Reduces back pain and other related problems of stress and strain.

Position: Sit down on the floor, a stool or a bed. Relax.
Note: For this one, you’ll need another person to do the good deed, as you cannot reach all parts of your back.

How to massage:

Press the thumbs into the dimples on either side of the spine. Perform circular friction movements, working up the back slowly and traveling as far up as it is possible. Apply firm pressure on knots and nodules to break them down.

To finish your massage programme, place the heels of your hands over your eyes. Hold your hands there for a few seconds allowing your eyes to relax completely in darkness.

Neck and shoulders
Benefits: Improves neck mobility, prevents headaches.

Position: Sit on a chair, bed, or on the floor with both feet flat on the ground.

How to massage:

By friction: Apply small circular friction movements to the base of your skull using your fingertips.

For the shoulders, nothing works better than effleurage. To massage your right shoulder, reach across the front of your chest and place your left hand at the base of the skull and stroke firmly down the side of the neck and over your shoulder. Repeat on the other shoulder.